Elkton cel­e­brates 20th an­nual Fall Fest

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— Lo­cal art­work, a singing com­pe­ti­tion and a clas­sic car show were just some of the high­lights of the town’s an­nual Fall Fest this week­end.

More than 5,000 peo­ple turned out for the two-day event, which is now in its 20th year, said Mary Jo Jablon­ski, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Elkton Cham­ber & Al­liance.

“It’s been awe­some,” she said. “We’ve had a great crowd. I’m re­ally, re­ally hap-

ELKTON

py with the turnout.”

The fest be­gan on Fri­day with a clas­sic car show and a per­for­mance by Real Di­a­mond, a Neil Di­a­mond trib­ute band. Then, on Satur­day, the fest crowned its win­ners of the Voice of Elkton singing com­pe­ti­tion.

Elkton res­i­dent Kay­lyn Brock­ell, 11, took home first prize, which con­sisted of a tro­phy and a $200 check, beat­ing out 14 other com­peti­tors. Sec­ond place went to Jayce Bradley, 17, and third place went to Julie Booth,15, who both won tro­phies for plac­ing.

Brock­ell sang “Hol­low” by Tori Kelly in the first round and then sang Justin Bieber’s “Love Your­self,” with a spe­cial guest, her brother, Austin, 8, as Justin Bieber. This isn’t her first time com­pet­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion though. She com­peted last year, but didn’t place, Brock­ell said.

“I am so proud of my­self,” she said. “Last year, I was not con­fi­dent at all.”

Brock­ell said she is proud of her­self be­cause it was

“such an im­prove­ment” since last year. Brock­ell said she felt more con­fi­dent this year and was not ner­vous to per­form.

“I was just so happy,” she said. “And I was even hap­pier when my dad said ‘yes.’ He’s my big­gest fan.”

Brock­ell’s dad, Jeff, was ec­static when his daugh­ter won the com­pe­ti­tion.

“She worked hard. She worked very, very hard,” Jeff said, not­ing she has no mu­si­cal back­ground or vo­cal train­ing.

Brock­ell said she is look­ing for­ward to next year’s com­pe­ti­tion be­cause she en­joys per­form­ing. She will split her $200 prize with Austin with both tak­ing their money to go shop­ping.

Elkton res­i­dent Chrissy P., Brock­ell’s aunt, said this was her first time at­tend­ing the fest af­ter hear­ing about it through Kay­lyn’s mom.

“This was the first time I ever came and I thought there was a lot of great tal­ent,” Chrissy said. “I’m ex­cited for her. She did it last year and she didn’t place, so this is ex­cit­ing for her.”

Elkton res­i­dent Carol Pu­laski mean­while said she’s at­tended ev­ery Fall Fest.

This year, she said she en­joyed the Neil Di­a­mond trib­ute band and es­pe­cially liked their ren­di­tion of “Caro­line.”

“I like the way he sings like Neil Di­a­mond,” Pu­laski said. “I like all of his per­son­al­ity and trib­ute to (Di­a­mond).”

Though the Neil Di­a­mond trib­ute band has played the fest be­fore, there were also sev­eral new ad­di­tions to this year’s event.

Peo­ple could walk down Main Street and see art, as well as buy pieces in the Artist’s Al­ley. Another new ad­di­tion was the Fall Fun Faire, which was hosted by Project Pur­pose, an or­ga­ni­za­tion which serves the county and sur­round­ing ar­eas to help young men and women em­brace their po­ten­tial and power to ful­fill their pur­pose.

Fair Hill res­i­dent Vic­to­ria Frank, 11, en­joyed the hula hoops and the moon bounce at the Fun Faire.

“You get to do a lot of fun tricks with them,” she said, such as swing­ing the hoop around her wrist and waist.

The fest ended with a per­for­mance by Robert Eric’s Trib­ute to the Pi­ano Man, who played from 6 to 8 p.m.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

The top com­peti­tors in the Voice of Elkton were Kay­lyn Brock­ell, 11, Jayce Bradley, 17, who came in sec­ond, and Julie Booth, 15, who came in third. Brock­ell’s brother Austin, 8, is wear­ing a Justin Bieber mask, which he wore dur­ing Brock­ell’s per­for­mance of “Love Your­self.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Fair Hill res­i­dents Jayson Frank, 6, and Vic­to­ria Frank, 11, en­joy the hula hoops dur­ing the Fall Fun Faire, hosted by Project Pur­pose.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Elkton res­i­dent Jeremiah Mar­shall, 6, looks at baked goods at one of the ven­dor tables on Satur­day .

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